This is Brian Gregory's 4th season at Georgia Tech. He was hired to turn around a program which floundered under Paul Hewitt. Instead, the Yellow Jackets are staring down their 11th straight season without a winning record in the ACC, and Gregory has yet to make even the NIT. His team is 18-48 in conference games.
Georgia Tech will never be a Duke or Louisville when it comes to basketball. But they are committed to winning. The school is in one of the most talent rich cities in the region, and the school just put 45 million into their arena. You have to wonder if this is Gregory's final season.
He has a legit star in junior Marcus Georges-Hunt. Georges-Hunt averages 13.8 per game. He's a big guard who does most of his work on the interior. He can rebound. He defends. He's the real deal.
Complementing him on the inside they have two transfers who make up in bulk what they lack in height. 6-8 Charles Mitchell (Maryland) averages 10. 2 points and 7.1 boards, while 6-8 Demarco Cox (Ole Miss) averages 8.5 points and 6.1 rebounds.
Beyond those three, scoring is an issue. Tech is even worse shooting 3s (28%) than FSU (30%). But whereas FSU is one of the best teams in the nation at shooting 2s, Tech isn't particularly effective with those either. Instead they generate their offense by rebounding almost 40% of their own misses (10th nationally) and living on putbacks.
Defensively, Tech is very good. They are one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the nation and they play at a grinding pace. So this is a team tough to come back against. Luckily, they're also a team which rarely builds big leads. Expect a close game.
Georgia Tech is just 2-10 in conference, but six of those losses have been by one possession. They're definitely better than their record, which is why they are a 4.5 point favorite in today's game.
The game tips at 2:30 and will be broadcast on Raycom Sports and ESPN3.